September 2014

Dear very special person,

First of all, we want to wish you a happy, good New Year and apologize that we did not write earlier. We did not know that we were allowed to write to you before a year had elapsed from the day of the transplant.

This leukemia caught us in the middle of life, with a newborn baby and a little boy who asks lots of questions. Both of them need their Abba with them. The first days after we learned of the leukemia were absolutely chaotic. The bad news kept coming – the worst of which was that only a stem cell donation could save Abba and that none of his brothers were a suitable donor. From that moment, we began a disheartening journey from chemotherapy to chemotherapy. But we knew that chemo wouldn’t be enough. The search for a non-related donor began and were disqualified one after the next. The strict isolation imposed on acute leukemia patients did not make the situation any easier. We were drowning in despair. If his own brothers were not a perfect genetic match, then where in the world would we find that match?!  

Then the phone rang. Amid the close to 700,000 potential donors, Ezer Mizion had found one whose DNA matched. The miracle that we thought would never happen arrived. That miracle was you.

Then we began to wonder, “Will you want to donate. After all, you’re busy with your own life. You never met us. Maybe you’d shrug the notice off with a ‘maybe next time but right now I’m too busy…’ But you didn’t. You were willing and happy to go through with donating your stem cells. For a perfect stranger.

 On the day of your donation, we were encouraged to hear that the amount they harvested was plenty, enough to contend with the damaged bone marrow. Meanwhile, it looks like the transplant was successfully accepted. There is still a long way to recovery, but things are looking a lot more optimistic. Slowly but surely, the dosage of a huge number of frightening drugs is being reduced, hospitalization in isolation has given way to outpatient care, and – gradually – even the outpatient sessions are becoming less frequent. Can we dare to hope that we will soon be living a normal life?

His immune system is still shaky. We are still shaky. Only after two years have passed from the time of the transplant will we be able to declare that the leukemia no longer poses a threat.

Words are not sufficient to express our gratitude to you for the noble, life-saving deed you did when you agreed to donate. We know that the medical procedure is not simple for the donor, and we are overflowing with appreciation and thanks.

At this opportunity, we also want to convey the thousands of “thank-you’s” from all of our extended family. May you have a sweet year and may all your dreams come true.

Meanwhile, we anxiously await the day when we will be allowed to meet you and pour out our gratitude for your selflessness in saving the life of a fellow Jew.

Donor profile: 27 years old, law student

Recipient: 42 year old university lecturer

Transplant date: January 22, 2014

Genetic testing funded by Brazil Community Donor Pool


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